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seriousjay

Jay's Epic Journey

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Day 53.

So a few days ago as I was playing my flute my sister came into my room to tell me how funny the sound was. Ever since then I've been hesitant about playing it again. I've been feeling self conscious about it. And 2 days ago, my flute practice didn't go so well and I was pretty down on myself for about a full day because of it.

I think my issue is that I'm too results oriented with it, and that is leading me towards frustration and self doubt. I think I need to appreciate the process a lot more than the results.. make it more about the journey than the destination. I think I will enjoy it a whole lot more if I shift my thinking that way. I will try to keep that in mind going forward.

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Day 56.

Almost at 60!

Still haven't received a single message on the online dating sites I've signed up for which is a bit of a bummer. I'm not too sure how to proceed with that at this point other than just to keep going.

Everything else is going pretty well, other than overcooking the crap out of a lot of rice today! Haha.

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43 minutes ago, Cam Adair said:

Which websites are you using? Have you tried Tinder or Bumble?

Nope, I'm using Match and Zoosk. I actually ended up buying subscriptions to these sites so I could send out messages, so I'm a bit tied up with them at the moment. I don't have much motivation to start on another site due to how much time this is already taking to manage.

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Day 57.

So after speaking to my personal trainer, I've decided I won't be actively pursuing women on online dating sites for the time being and instead focus more on myself. I think this is a good idea since I seem to be getting too emotionally invested in it. It's just going to become another addiction.

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Day 58.

I didn't plan anything for tonight and I figured I would get quite a bit done that I wanted to do and... nothing got done! It's 8:45 and I'm finally sitting down able to do some of that stuff. LOL!

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Day 60.

I went to Gate of India today, as planned. Somehow it didn't feel as satisfying as the other couple of times I went.

I finally got everything I need for my contact lenses but I still feel so much hesitation to put them on. I really don't know why, it's not that big a deal.

I'm also so close to getting under 200 pounds for the first time in I don't even know how long. That's pretty exciting! Maybe 2 more weeks.

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Day 61.

I've been getting a bit down on myself lately. I just feel like I'm stagnating a little bit. Some of those past fears, insecurities and whatnot regarding starting something new have crept back up. For example, I've read a bit about how to start writing a novel/story, I've actually bought a novel of the genre I like, and I've found a bunch of short stories to read, but I'd rather just watch Netflix instead of get started on any of that.

Secondly, I feel like my momentum with respect to my social skills has tapered off a bit. I don't feel like I've really made a whole lot of progress there lately.

I suppose I still have a lot to feel good about. I'm still going strong with going to the gym and hiking, I'm still going out at least once a week meeting new people, and I'm still keeping up my eating, habits at home and other things.

I suppose this might just be one of the ebbs of life that I'm experiencing. You're not always going to have great positive momentum. Sometimes you're going to feel like things are moving slower than you think they should. I'll try not to dwell on it too much, just keep moving and doing the things that I'm doing and hopefully things will turn around.

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Take your goals and put them into smaller chunks. What's the first thing you can do/complete to start moving in the direction of writing your novel? What's an actionable step towards your social skills goals? CLARITY is what leads to action.

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Argh! I had a whole post written out and it's gone because I pressed something that made me lose it all. Let's try this again.

On 10/6/2018 at 12:23 AM, Cam Adair said:

Take your goals and put them into smaller chunks. What's the first thing you can do/complete to start moving in the direction of writing your novel? What's an actionable step towards your social skills goals? CLARITY is what leads to action.

So I spent some time thinking about this before replying.

On the writing stuff, I'm finding it difficult just figuring out where to get started. Should I read the novel and short stories first? Should I just start writing ASAP? Should I do them both concurrently? I'm so stuck on trying to figure out the "right way" to go about this, but there really is no right way.. just find the way that works for you. So I'll start by planning on reading that novel and short stories and once I've developed some momentum, actually get started on writing something.

For the social skills stuff, I think what I posted previously was completely overblown. I'm making very good progress on the social side. I've made one very good friend who I communicate with almost daily, a few others who I would consider good friends, and I'm meeting new people every week. If anything, I would say I perceive the fact that I haven't found more people that I communicate with a lot by this point as stagnation, however, at the same time, there is such a thing as too many friends I think. If you talk to too many people too often, you won't have any time left for yourself. I think I'm pretty happy with where I'm at for being just over 2 months removed from having no outside social contact whatsoever.

Now, I want to be dead honest about something at this point. I think the main source of my negative feelings lately is that I've been thinking too much about video games. Not even just random thoughts about them too, I've been proactive about thinking about them. It's just that I wish I had played Far Harbour in Fallout 4 one more time. That being said, I know that "one more time" will lead to one more time of Starbound, then one more time of Terraria, and so on. No amount of one more times in any video game will truly satisfy me. These thoughts are not making me feel good and are definitely affecting my mood. The stupid thing is, when I think about how much progress I've made so far, at the gym, on the social side and everything else, that does make me feel really good. Would you say this is something that I just need to ride out, or is there something proactive I can do about this?

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1 hour ago, Cam Adair said:

I still think about games. That doesn't really go away. You just get better at navigating it. 

Well especially for us, it consumed such a large part of our lives during our formative years that it seems like it would be very difficult to just forget about them entirely.

Regardless, I actually think I found the solution in chapter 9 of The Willpower Instinct. Accept whatever thoughts come up without trying to push them away. Observe them, feel them, then focus on the breath and pretend like your breath is gently blowing away all those thoughts.

Basically exactly what meditation teaches. I'll definitely keep that in mind going forward.

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11 hours ago, Cam Adair said:

I still think about games. That doesn't really go away. You just get better at navigating it. 

Same here! And sometimes it makes me even feel happy. Thinking about the fun old days. 
But I just don't need it anymore to be happy right now. I'm a new person and gaming doesn't fit anymore.

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Day 64.

Had a really nice evening tonight. One of my friends came over and we had a nice dinner and played some card and board games.

I definitely feel a lot better emotionally compared to the last little while. Just gotta keep it going.

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I think the emotional ups and downs are normal. It can randomly start and then last a week or two for me. Sometimes nothing special in life happens, and you only notice your problems, but then eventually one day something nice will happen–maybe you meet someone cool or have a good night somewhere—and you'll feel on top again. It helps to remind myself that it's completely normal to feel like the sky is falling every now and then. Then it's easier to ignore until the mood passes.

I also considered writing for a while, and as far as everything I read, you are supposed to read and write together. The gist of it was that everyone sucks on their first try (or first 10 or even 100 tries), until they finally "find their voice" as a writer, so the goal is to get these sucky trial times out of the way as soon as possible. The main thing is that if you never start writing, you can never make progress on this crucial hurdle. So I think it's a marathon of determination and discipline—kind of like quitting video games, which you're already succeeding at!

Also, trying to write your own story will help you identify problematic elements in your writing, which you can then read on the side for inspiration on how to solve them. I'd expect reading and writing at the same time to be complementary.

Good to see you still hanging in there! I am as well, although I still have the urge now and then to game. I'm at the point where I think it'd be harmless to play some super old game on an emulator, but even if it unofficially wouldn't matter to play, I'd still officially have broken my quitting streak. Taking pride in my quitting streak has become like a barrier for me. In the past I would break all my standards—arguing with myself that it "didn't matter"—and eventually I had no standards left for myself with a pretty crumby lifestyle. Now that I have a standard again on avoiding video games, I'm holding on to it as long as I can. I think this might be what it means to have a "habit." It feels productive and good.

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On 10/9/2018 at 12:49 PM, blaisem said:

I think the emotional ups and downs are normal. It can randomly start and then last a week or two for me. Sometimes nothing special in life happens, and you only notice your problems, but then eventually one day something nice will happen–maybe you meet someone cool or have a good night somewhere—and you'll feel on top again. It helps to remind myself that it's completely normal to feel like the sky is falling every now and then. Then it's easier to ignore until the mood passes.

I also considered writing for a while, and as far as everything I read, you are supposed to read and write together. The gist of it was that everyone sucks on their first try (or first 10 or even 100 tries), until they finally "find their voice" as a writer, so the goal is to get these sucky trial times out of the way as soon as possible. The main thing is that if you never start writing, you can never make progress on this crucial hurdle. So I think it's a marathon of determination and discipline—kind of like quitting video games, which you're already succeeding at!

Also, trying to write your own story will help you identify problematic elements in your writing, which you can then read on the side for inspiration on how to solve them. I'd expect reading and writing at the same time to be complementary.

Good to see you still hanging in there! I am as well, although I still have the urge now and then to game. I'm at the point where I think it'd be harmless to play some super old game on an emulator, but even if it unofficially wouldn't matter to play, I'd still officially have broken my quitting streak. Taking pride in my quitting streak has become like a barrier for me. In the past I would break all my standards—arguing with myself that it "didn't matter"—and eventually I had no standards left for myself with a pretty crumby lifestyle. Now that I have a standard again on avoiding video games, I'm holding on to it as long as I can. I think this might be what it means to have a "habit." It feels productive and good.

Thanks for your reply!

Yeah I think the emotional ups and downs are just the ebbs and flows of life. Part of it is that I haven't really quite found an effective way of dealing with the downs to get my mood back up. Obviously before it was so easy to deal with it by just gaming. I'll spend some time this weekend brainstorming ways to deal with my down days.

Yeah as far as the writing I just gotta sit down and do it. Like I said I'm going to start by reading a bit and then going from there.

I'd like to think I'm more than just hanging in there.. haha. Things are overall going really great for me.

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Day 69.

Mostly a post just for the sake of having a post. I don't really have much to say.

I do feel a little bit like I'm grinding my way through the days lately. I don't have as much motivation as I had previously, but I think that's normal. I knew at one point it was going to happen and I had to be prepared to continue based on a commitment to the process as opposed to excitement or motivation, which obviously didn't work before. So far so good!

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Just curious, when do you guys notice your perception of the passage of time start to change? I feel like I'm still in video game mode with respect to that. It's been just under 2.5 months but it feels like it's been forever.

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Day 70.

Hell of a day today. Took the kids to buy some halloween stuff, and I ended up buying a costume for myself for.. basically the first time ever. I actually feel like I'm really getting into the spirit of it, which is somewhat surprising. I ended up buying a costume of Ezio from Assassin's Creed. It looks pretty sweet!

Then I did a nearly 3 hour hike. It was completely impromptu, but I'm glad I did it. It did take a lot out of me - probably because I hadn't hiked all week, although it was a pretty challenging route.

Couple hours after that I went to the gym, and here I am now. I feel like I did 2 weekend days worth of stuff all in 1 day!

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Day 76.

Been a hell of a week.

I spent the last 5 days at my mom's house and I believe just being at my mom's house is a trigger of bad habits for me. On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday I ended up ordering fast food. I had decided to order on Tuesday as a "one last time" kind of thing, and apparently the "one last game" rule doesn't just apply to games. There was one other thing but I don't want to mention it here. Normally I would have beaten myself up over this but I have decided to apply the principles of The Willpower Instinct and approach this situation with self-compassion as opposed to self-derision.

I am spending the next week at my mom's house as well and this is a very important step for me because I feel it's very important that I conquer this obstacle. So I am committing to getting no fast food whatsoever next week. I've been able to do it for 70+ days so there's no reason that I can't overcome this hurdle as well.

Curiously, I still somehow managed to lose weight despite going about 1000 over my calorie budget on average the last 3 days.

Some positive things from last week: I finally started reading the novel I bought and I went through a quarter of it in 2 days, haha. I'm not a huge fan of the author's writing style but he's come up with a very interesting plot. Also, I finally started my Invisalign treatment, which does the same thing as braces. It doesn't hurt at all but it feels uncomfortable as all hell. I'm hoping that uncomfortable feeling goes away after a while, because it's driving me somewhat crazy LOL. However, this is a very important step for me because my teeth are badly misaligned and need to be fixed before it gets worse.

Well that's about all I have for now!

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9 hours ago, giblets said:

How is life in Canada eh now that marijuana is legalized?

Well I went to the gym today and got a whiff of it in the back for a few minutes.. haha. So far it isn't bad but I am still worried about randomly getting high while walking down the street..

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1 hour ago, seriousjay said:

I am still worried about randomly getting high while walking down the street..

lmao that's not how it works 😄 I live in Amsterdam and don't smoke, it's fine don't worry.

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